So, are cats the perfect work-at-home partner?
I say YES! Research has shown that having a pet around can generally benefit your mental health. Did you know that having a cat can relieve stress, lessen the feelings of isolation, and help in improving productivity?
But these aren’t just what makes them the perfect work-at-home partner. In fact, there are 4 more ways to prove that they’re the best work companions!
- They do not demand a lot of attention. Cats are undoubtedly intelligent animals. As long as you invest a small amount of time upfront, training them properly, they can adhere to your rules.
- They WILL let you work. While cats may love being near you, they are also very independent and quite capable of giving you space when you need it. They won’t generally demand the same level of attention as a dog and certainly make far less mess!
- They know when you need them. Trust me when I say that you will feel extra special whenever your cat cossies up to you. The magic of this cat behavior is especially soothing at times when you need comfort the most – when you’re feeling a bit blue or struggling with a work issue. The simple act of patting your furry co-worker can bring calm to your workplace.
- They are quirky and adorable! They may not be up for deep discussions as much as your office colleagues and do not inspire work projects but they give the best snuggles and silent advice to make your heart sing!
Helping To Navigate Work-At-Home Mum Challenges…
As we mums navigate through the new normal, working-at-home is an extremely viable and sometimes necessary option to maintain our income stream.
I personally have been a work-at-home mum for years and wouldn’t want it any other way. The flexibility around family schedules and the savings in commute, wardrobe and takeaway food costs have been substantial.
The Challenges for Work-At-Home Mums
Despite the many benefits, realistically, working at home is not always sunshine and rainbows.
Juggling parenting, social life, relationships, home life and work all under the same roof can present challenges.
One of those challenges is the potential isolation and lack of social contact that can be experienced when working-at-home, particularly when you first transition from the workplace.
For example, mums of school aged children can find themselves at home alone for a large part of the day. Luckily today, technology is our ally and with platforms such as Zoom, Whatsapp and Facebook it’s not too difficult to schedule a virtual morning tea for a quick chat with friends.
How A Pet Cat Can Help Around The Home Office
Or you could do what I did and get a cat! Now I’m passionate about cats, to the point where I started a Cat Care Blog , and of course a cat is not going to be the right solution for everyone.
However, if you want a loyal, loving, constant companion a cat is the answer!! These cute little furries can add a whole world of happiness to your home office!
How do I Care For A Cat or Kitten?
Whilst cats are reasonably self-sufficient and independent, they do require a little bit of care, especially if you decide on a young kitten.
To ensure that your cat will not wreak havoc on your workflow and get in the way of your paycheck, here are my top 6 tips for caring for your cat or kitten when working from home:
Tip 1: Cat Food
Basic cat care for your feline starts with knowing the best cat food and treats to feed your cat.
For example, a kitten requires food specifically formulated for kittens. This is to ensure he receives the vitamins and minerals necessary for growth and development during his first 12 months.
A mixture of wet and dry food is ideal and be aware that there are foods that are poisonous to cats and should be avoided such as garlic, onion, chocolate, raisin and raw egg.
To ensure optimal health, cats must always be fed good quality, well balanced, age appropriate food.
Tip 2: Cat Training
If introducing a kitten into your home, you will need to train him to use a litter box.
Cats are meticulous with cleanliness. As long as you provide adequate litterboxes (generally one per cat plus one) and always keep the litter clean, toilet training of your kitten should be a breeze.
If accidents start to occur, it is generally due to dirty litter or the location of the litterbox.
A grown cat will generally come to you house trained and therefore you may want to dive straight into teaching him a few tricks or two. Patience and time are key here as your independent cat will only be receptive to learning when he’s ready to learn!
Another important task is to train your cat not to scratch the furniture. Providing him with scratching poles and mats and plenty of encouraging words when he uses them is the answer here.
Tip 3: Cat Behavior
The key to a successful relationship with your furry co-worker is understanding their behavior. Encourage good behavior with positive voice tones and treats and discourage bad behavior with appropriate training techniques.
Over time you’ll get to learn the normal behavior of your cat and will instinctively know when your cat is not quite right.
It’s important to act if your cat starts to behave in an abnormal way. For example, becomes lethargic, overly aggressive etc. There may be a medical condition or anxiety underlying the behavior that requires treatment. Where the behavior continues or worsens always seek advice from your veterinarian.
Tip 4: Cat Grooming
While cats are very self-sufficient when it comes to keeping clean, there are a few areas where we can care for our cat by giving them a helping hand.
A good brushing with a cat grooming brush will help remove excess dry skin and promote good skin health.
Cats nails may also need a trim if their scratching has not been sufficient to blunt their nails.
Tip 5: Cat Health
Just like we humans, cats are subject to a range of health issues. Keeping your cat in optimal health through appropriate cat care will help to minimise illness or disease.
Choose a cat-friendly veterinarian, preferably in your local area. Ensure your cat’s immunisations are always up to date and that any health concerns are dealt with promptly by visiting your veterinarian.
Tip 6: Cat Play
Cats are renowned for their independent nature and are great at entertaining themselves. However, enriching your cat’s life is an important aspect of caring for your cat.
Playing with your cat gives you an opportunity to bond with your furry co-worker, which is rewarding for both cat and owner.
However, when work calls and there’s no time to play surprise him with an interactive toy or you just may find that he’s perfectly happy chasing a peg around the kitchen floor!
The internet provides a wealth of information on how to care for your cat or kitten. To ensure a long, loving and rewarding relationship with your feline co-worker be knowledgeable about these areas of cat care.
In summary, working-at-home is flexible, cost saving and fun! However, the social isolation can be challenging for some. A cat or kitten can minimise this challenge by providing company, entertainment, reducing stress and a kitty chat throughout the day when you are working from home.
With a basic knowledge of cat care, you will be rewarded for many years with an unconditional and loving relationship with your new furry co-worker.
Lisa Preston is a Cat Care Expert and Founder of www.catcareblog.com. She is also a full-time Work-at-Home Mum who is passionate about cats. Whilst she is not vet trained in any way, Lisa tirelessly reads and researches all things cats to bring you up-to-date and trustworthy information about caring for your cat. Her passion is driven by her love of cats and as Lisa says “If just one person learns one thing on how to better care for their cat from my blog, then I’ve done my job!”